It’s here. Campaign season is fully on us now, and the ads and polls and press releases are coming at us a mile a minute. Here’s who stood out this week, just 5 and a half weeks before election day.
Kathleen Kane. The past week has been a credit to her campaign. When a GOP group out of DC started the first part of its $1M effort against Kane with a gritty ad, her staff vigorously and effectively debunked its claims (it was called “nonsense” today by Factcheck.org). Add that to a strong fundraising period (she raised $1.47M from May to Sept., plus $300K in the past week). However, the fact remains that most people who saw that anti-Kane ad won’t hear about the rebuttal. It’ll be expensive trying to counteract half a million dollars of attack ads in the Philly market. Oh, and she needs to rein in an overeager intern.
Tom Smith. The Senate hopeful is in for a warm welcome at GOP State Committee this weekend. Poll after poll this week showed him catching up with Sen. Bob Casey. The Washington Post changed its prediction of the race from “solid Democrat” to “lean Democrat” this week, and Smith Thursday appeared on the nationally syndicated Mark Levin show. He’s starting to feel the love. Friday, former Governor Tom Ridge endorsed him, and Sen. Pat Toomey also chimed in with a fundraising email to supporters on Smith’s behalf.
Keith Rothfus. In 2010, the GOP congressional challenger didn’t catch the attention of the national guys until too late – he lost to Jason Altmire by 1.4 points. This year couldn’t be more different; he has lots of support. A GOP internal poll showed him tied with Rep. Mark Critz, and the DCCC is scaling back its TV presence (Lest Republicans dare to dream, a DCCC rebuttal poll showed Critz ahead by 11 and Critz has the backing of numerous other 3rd parties). And we liked his new bobblehead TV ad this week.
Rob McCord. The incumbent Pa. Treasurer had a decent fundraising report – he brought in $200K. So did his opponent, Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan, who raised over $100K. The difference? McCord has over $2 million on hand, while Irey Vaughan reported just over $22K. In a race that voters don’t care much about where earned media is nearly impossible, it’s a big advantage.
Democrats. They just don’t get western Pa! That’s according to two television ads from Democratic congressional candidates Rep. Mark Critz (from earlier in Sept.) and just this week from Larry Maggi. Both criticize their own party over energy policy. “Democrats want to kill natural gas jobs,” says Maggi. “We had to fight President Obama’s EPA to get it done,” Critz says of his effort to save a coal mine. Critz is facing a tough challenge from Keith Rothfus (see above), while Maggi, a Washington County Commissioner, hopes to unseat Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny).
Tweet of the Week
This week it goes to WITF’s Mary Wilson, who dutifully covered the Auditor General debate on Friday night.
“Thank goodness Mary Wilson is tweeting from the PA Auditor General debate; I’ll retweet this right away.” — No one.
— Marywilson (@Marywilson) September 22, 2012
Critz is a horrible human being let alone a disturbing congressman.
This all women need to know about him!
1. Keith Rothfus has virtually no accomplishments in civic or public service! 2. Rothfus has not created any jobs. 3. Rothfus’s won’t tell us what he did when he served in the Beltway (passed out Bibles at tax payers expense for all we know). 4. He refuses to speak and explain his work for Faith Healer Pat Robertson’s empire. 5. He plays the race card. Probably the first time that a campaign mailer black-faced their opponent in PA political history! 6. He plays the cancer card for partisan political purposes! Being a Congressman is the closest elected Federal official to a local region. I don’t trust Keith the Candidate Rothfus with my future and I’m not the only voter who feels this way!
This is what Critz is talking about when he says the Obama EPA. Jobs at the expense of clean drinking water. When all the water is poisoned,where will the jobs be? And leveling mountains is not mining. It is massive destruction.
From the AP:
Last year, the EPA revised standards issued in April 2010 by tightening guidelines on the practice of dumping waste from surface mine blasting into Appalachian valley waterways. Critics say that practice destroys the environment. The mining industry defends it as an efficient way to produce cheap power and employ thousands in well-paying jobs.
The EPA had written that the fundamental premise of its new guidelines was that “no discharge of dredged or fill material may be permitted” under any of three conditions: if the nation’s waters would be “significantly degraded”; if it causes or contributes to violations of a state’s water quality standard; or “if a practicable alternative exists that is less damaging to the aquatic environment.”
The National Mining Association, one of the plaintiffs, denounced the guidelines as a “jobs destroyer” and hailed Walton’s decision as a way to get miners back to work “by allowing the state permitting agencies to do their jobs.”